DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BRINGS LATIN AMERICA TO THE EMIRATES
Wed Dec 05,2007
Dubai, December 5, 2007: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is an opportunity to see films from all over the world, and for its fourth edition, programmers have chosen a selection of films from South America that bring the vitality and colour of Latin life and culture to the Emirates.
Two of the three films set in Cuba are World Premieres. 90 Millas (90 Miles), directed by record producer Emilio Estefan, introduces three generations of Cuba’s greatest musicians coming together in recording sessions as well as in intimate interviews that demonstrate the perseverance, love and talent that helped them to preserve and nurture Cuban music from generation to generation. 90 miles is the distance from Cuba to the United States, and these are the musicians that have kept Cuban music alive through exile in the US to international acclaim.
All of the musicians in 90 Millas collaborated on Gloria Estefan’s new album ‘90 Millas,’ which recently reached #1 on the Billboards Latin Album Chart. She will perform on December 13, 2007 as part of the Rhythm n Reels program in the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
Another documentary set in Cuba is Ana Falastini (Soy Palestino), which director Osama Qashoo calls ‘a musical comedy that charts a journey into the politics of the Cuba today.’ Qashoo discovered that Havana has its own ‘Palestinians’, poor black migrants from the east of the island, and that “Palestino” was a term of racist abuse. He soon met Louisito, a musician living in a small wooden box on wheels covered with instruments made from junk, who entertains other homeless Palestinos. The film documents Qashoo’s journey with Louisito to Cuba’s ‘Palestine’ to visit his mother, whom he has not seen for five years.
In Viva Cuba, 10-year old best friends Jorgito and Malú travel hundreds of miles across Cuba by train, bus, car, foot and motorcycle to convince Malú‘s father not to allow his estranged wife to take Malú out of Cuba, which would separate the friends forever. Throughout their voyage, they see things that perhaps only children can see: shooting stars and animals and spirits. Cuba’s candidate for the Oscars, Viva Cuba is a children’s film, but is sophisticated enough for the most discriminating adult. Directors Juan Carlos Cremata and Iraida Cabrera will accompany the film to Dubai.
From Argentina, Encarnación stars former Miss Argentina Silvia Perez, who came out of retirement to play a failed 40-something actress who still dresses like a 20-something. One weekend, visiting her rural home town for her niece’s fifteenth birthday, she veers between behaving like a teenage friend, a loving aunt - and spending the night with her hotel’s sexy young manager. The film won the Innovation Award at the Toronto International Film Festival for young director Anahí Berneri, who will accompany Ms. Perez to the film’s Dubai screening.
Uruguay offers El Baño del Papa (The Pope’s Toilet), in which a small-time smuggler has the smart idea of providing a public toilet for the thousands of pilgrims expected for the Pope’s visit. Co-director Enrique Fernández was born in Melo, Uruguay, and the film is both Fernandez and co-director César Charlone’s feature debut. Charlone is an acclaimed cinematographer, and the film reflects his skill; he received an Academy Award nomination for his work in City of God (2001). Both directors will be in Dubai to attend the film’s screening, along with star Cesar Troncoso.
Mexican director Carlos Reygadas’ Stellet Licht (Silent Light) won a Jury Prize at Cannes this year with the story of Johann, a deeply religious Mexican Mennonite who experiences profound spiritual conflict as he enters an adulterous relationship. Starring non-professional Mennonite actors, including award-winning author Miriam Toews, the film offers a contemplative study of religion and individual duty.
DIFF 2007 takes place between December 9 and 16, 2007. Principal Sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates and Jumeirah.
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was launched in December 2004 under the theme: Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.
DIFF is held under the honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organised by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.
As the previous editions of DIFF have demonstrated, the Festival not only presents cinematic excellence from around the world, but is also an important high-profile platform for aspiring home-grown talent.
“Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds,” has been hailed by all as a unique and relevant theme to promote better understanding and mutual respect between different communities and countries.
Since its inception, DIFF has become an important meeting point for international and regional filmmakers and industry professionals setting the foundation for potential future collaborations.
The past three editions of DIFF have presented more than 250 films, documentaries and shorts from more than 48 countries.
In 2006 the festival took place at the magnificent Madinat Jumeirah resort. As a further commitment of DIFF’s endeavours to facilitate greater opportunities for regional Arab talent, the Muhr Awards was launched. Another first for DIFF in 2006 was the setting up of the Industry Office, which was established with a view to exclusively assist the needs of all registered delegates.
The fourth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will take place from December 9-16 and will present the best of Arab and international cinema in the feature film, shorts and documentary formats. Building on the success of last year, DIFF 2007 will also host the Muhr Awards and the Industry Office with new features.
For any further information and regular updates on DIFF 2007 please log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com
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